Celebrating Trans Day of Visibility and Action 2023
Visibility is most necessary when it makes cruelty, indifference, and irresponsibility impossible. Last year for #TDOV, we asked “what is this the year of for you.” In response, we heard that it was a year of combatting misinformation about transgender people, a year of centering healing and tenderness, a year where trans youth and elders are celebrated, a year where all genders and sexualities must be unapologetic.
What continues to be true for Pride Foundation this year is that we must continue to become a sanctuary for defending trans existence, celebrating trans life, and investing in trans futures. We know that more people are now reporting that they know somebody who is trans and that there are more trans legislators and more trans owned businesses than ever. At Pride Foundation, over 67% of our scholarship recipients last year do not identify as cisgender. This visibility generates the possibility of radical empathy, of working through the complex entanglements of individual accountability and communal possibility.
Make no mistake: 2023 has painfully been another record-breaking year for anti-LGBTQ+ legislation with over 400 bills already proposed, most of them attacking trans and non-binary people. We shared an overview of some of these recent attacks specific to the Northwest in our March newsletter and we know that trans people are over four times more likely than cisgender people to be victims of violent crime. Meanwhile, funding in the philanthropic sector for LGBTQ+ work overall, and especially trans work, has declined. Movement Advancement Project spares no words in calling this “a war against LGBTQ people in America.”
Pride Foundation has been fighting this harmful legislation by providing testimony, supporting meals and transportation needs, engaging in narrative and programmatic work, and leaning deeper into our Racial Equity Core as we imagine the future of this work. It is as important now as ever that we continue to fight this harmful legislation. We must continue to build healthier communities, rooted in trust, across the Northwest that will someday mean our region is inhospitable to these kinds of attacks in the first place. We know that visibility is an especially important component of making this possible.
We know that action is what will get us there, and Pride Foundation continues to invest in the LGBTQ+ led groups on the ground who are helping to build more inclusive communities. To help prepare for the harsh legislative cycle we knew was coming in 2023, late last year we made four, $40,000 grants to key organizations centering trans leadership and responding to anti-LGBTQ+ attacks in their states and communities.
On this Trans Day of Visibility and Action, we wanted to celebrate these organizations and the investments that will help them grow and continue their work.
Director of CARE with Mija Cloverdale at the opening of the TransVisible Exhibition, Transcend January 2023; “Protect Trans Youth” Rally co-hosted by Add the Words, Idaho February 2023; TransVisible Montana “Navigating the Genderverse” Workshop at the Holter Museum January 2023; Chelsea Gaona-Lincoln from Add the Words, Idaho with Director of CARE; Native Movement event for Banned Books Week October 2022
Add the Words, Idaho
Add the Words, Idaho is a statewide and regional leader in gender/sex-based advocacy for LGBTQI2S+ people. Over the course of the last year, this mostly unpaid network of volunteers, has been a central hub for providing testimony at the state house, healing communities hurt by anti-LGBTQI2S+ legislation, and partnering with local organizations to increase resources for gender-diverse folks and support new leaders. During the 2023 legislative session, Add the Words, Idaho has organized rallies at the state capitol, legislative trainings, provided testimony opposing anti-LGBTQ+ bills, organized individual therapy sessions for impacted Idahoans, provided direct mutual aid to LGBTQ+ people across the State, and so much more. Their founding mission of adding the words “gender and sexual orientation” to the Idaho constitution reflects the most basic yet powerful of truths: Transgender people are your community and have a right to exist free from fear.
**HB 71 (Idaho’s Gender Affirming Care Ban) is currently on the Governor’s desk putting gender-diverse Idahoans directly in harm’s path. Join Add the Words in defending the rights by signing their letter now**
Add the Words has a statewide Mutual Aid program you can donate directly to and learn more about here: https://www.addthewords.org/mutualaidinfo
Native Movement, Alaska
Native Movement is a statewide organization dedicated to building people power, rooted in an Indigenized worldview, toward healthy, sustainable, and just communities for all. Their Gender Justice and Healing Program holds community dialogues and space regarding culture and gender, uplifts Indigenous Feminism and builds critical analysis toward dismantling patriarchal systems that have led to the murder of Indigenous women and girls. Native Movement has dedicated staff for Two-Spirit & LGBTQ+ Advocacy, Decolonizing Gender capacity-building, and community safety programming. Native Movement developed a video series called “Dear Kin” where they collected the oral histories of elders, including gender queer elders, in rural communities across Alaska. Native Movement is interested in sustaining this community storytelling project in an ongoing basis and in continuing to share stories more broadly. In 2023, their work has ranged from craft-nights to legislative mobilization to supporting renewable energy projects across the state. Their founding mission of providing leadership and support to ensure Indigenous peoples’ rights and rights for the Earth is a testament to the fact that gender-diverse people have always existed and are as natural as the Earth itself.
**HB 105 (Alaska’s ‘Don’t be Gay or Trans’ Bill) is being promoted by Governor Dunleavy and up for vote in the legislature. Join Native Movement in defending the rights of LGBTQI2S+ Alaskans by signing their letter and taking action now**
Native Movement has a digital shop where you can donate to their work and get some fabulous Alaskan made merchandise: https://www.nativemovement.org/merch
Rogue Action Center, Oregon
Rogue Action Center has over six years of experience confront white supremacy and exploitation, building social justice organizing capacity, and providing long-term justice and support for most marginalized members of the Southern and rural parts of Oregon. Since launching its LGBTQ+ Listening Project in 2019 and evolving its housing work into climate justice work, RAC has become a life-affirming and direct-service providing pillar for Southern Oregonians and beyond. The organization has been working to evolve its work from disaster-response to disaster-preparedness, restructuring the steering committee of the LGBTQ+ Listening project, and building the leadership of young QTBIPOC Southern Oregonians. The intersectionality of RAC’s work in Southern Oregon has uniquely positioned them to track emerging anti-LGBTQ+ initiatives and misinformation, such as recent campaigns targeting trans and non-binary students in public schools. In a world that wants to enforce binaries, RAC’s work from wildfire recovery support to affordable housing legislation and beyond, makes clear how investing in LGBTQI2S+ people, especially in trans led work, is an investment for the betterment of all people: Transgender love benefits everyone.
Rogue Action Center has a donation page where you can directly support their work to transform Oregon: https://secure.everyaction.com/BGlr_JtpIkmYFf7SyHB0Ow2
TransVisible Montana is a multi-generational coalition of Transgender, Nonbinary, and Two-Spirit individuals and organizations from across the state with shared decision-making power. The coalition has over seven years of experience offering educational materials, leadership opportunities, and trainings to the people of Montana. One of TransVisible Montana’s most popular offerings is a once annual leadership development camp by and for gender-diverse Montanans. After a brief pause during the pandemic, the leadership camp was restarted in the Spring of 2022 and is scheduled to occur again later in 2023. In January of 2023, the first month of Montana’s active biannual legislative session, TransVisible Montana opened their inaugural exhibition, Transcend, the largest exhibition so far of artistry by trans Montanans ever. This exhibition is housed at the Holter Museum of Art in Helena, MT, just steps away from the capitol building. By hosting this multi-month celebration of trans art in the heart of one of the most active anti-LGBTQ+ legislatures in the country, while continuing to provide services across the state, TransVisible Montana embodies a North Star for our movement: Trans joy is inescapable and irresistible.
TransVisible Montana is fiscally sponsored by United Way of Missoula. To donate to TVMT, you can click here and select “TransVisible Montana” from the drop-down menu under “My donation is for*”: https://missoulaunitedway.org/donate
All of our grantee partners support and serve LGBTQ+ people and communities broadly, but, in addition to the four above, we wanted to elevate a few whose work specifically focuses on trans, non-binary, and gender diverse people and communities:
We encourage you to check out and support their phenomenal work!
We know that celebrating trans joy is a part of our permanent plan every year so we ask you: How will you share your trans joy on March 31st and the rest of 2023?